Published on: November 11, 2022
Kaspersky decided to discontinue the operation and sale of its VPN product, Kaspersky Secure Connection, in Russia. The free version is expected to be suspended as early as next week.
According to the Moscow-based company’s blog on Monday, the shutdown of the VPN service will be staged, which means the impact on its Russian customers is minimal at the moment.
Purchases of the paid version of Kaspersky Secure Connection will remain available on both the official website and mobile app stores until December 2022.
However, customers with active Kaspersky Secure Connection subscriptions will be able to continue using the VPN service until the end of the paid period, which extends as far as 2023 under the one-year subscription.
Russia-based users of the free version of Kaspersky Secure Connection will no longer be able to use the product nex Tuesday, on November 15, so they will have to search for alternatives when that time comes.
With Kaspersky discontinuing its VPN service, there are not many trustworthy legal VPN alternatives remaining for Russian citizens to choose from.
The 15 VPNs that Roskomnadzor banned refused to connect to their services in the FGIS database, so they were no longer allowed to operate in the country. Connecting to this database would apply government-imposed censorship in VPN connections and also make user traffic and identity subject to scrutiny by state actors.
Russia has been progressively increasing its restrictions on VPNs over the past few months. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Digital Transformation requested all state-owned companies to declare what VPN products they use, for what purposes, and in what locations.
In August, Roskomnadzor also announced plans to roll out an AI-based internet scanner by December to analyze all new information that appears online.